We Americans commodify and market ourselves with can-do! go-get 'em! spirit that weighs heavily. We're singing the lyrics from Best Foot Forward to the tune of Sinatra's One For My Baby, One More For the Road, a torch song beneath the bright, snappy prose composed to wring assets out wishful-thinking during an economic downturn that appears to have placed verbiage with cash in inverse ratio. These people are just too marvelous for words but that doesn't stop them. The format appears to be designed to maximize sales.
The British? Brief, to the point, no B.S., self-deprecating and delightful.Their spirit? Bollocks and piss off if you don't like me or my ad.
And so, a recent selection of personals, Part Two of "Have Books Destroyed Your Life, Too?"
NYRB: EASYGOING ALLURE, bright smile, and dash of mischief. Slender, athletic, adventurous. Very nice-looking with passion for the outdoors and for keeping our planet healthy: hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, investigating nature, buying/eating locally, respecting the environment, working with Heifer Project International, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross Relief. Lighthearted, curious, sensual. Widow, lives in the Rockies, ties to East Coast. Loves art, music, dogs, gardening--though welcomes help from others, does best with cacti. Gravitates to travel that involves learning--Nepal, Morocco, Turkey, language study in Paris. Would love to hike Switzerland, discover more of New Zealand, do service project, or just hang out together at home with bright, active, fit man with residence west of Mississippi River, 56-74.
LRB: Cantab pair (M 22, F 21) seeks clever F (40 - 50) to share ideas & bed.
NYRB: PASSIONATE ARTIST; lovely, thoughtful, sensual, successful painter. Local exhibitions--landscapes, seascapes, street scenes, paintings that tell stories. Happiest painting outside, indoors only when weather insists. Naturally slender, athletic, divorced, good-looking with mischievous spark. Enjoys ideas, photography, Monhegan, Provence painting trips, NPR, books, DVDs, skiing, planning dinners with interesting mix of friends. Loves ease, conviviality of eating out--intimate conversation across the table, no planned agendas, someone else to cook/do dishes. Easygoing, relaxed. Works to make the world better and greener place, attends Bioneers conference annually. Lives wonderful life just missing someone special--friendly, fit, active, Mass./Rhode Island-area man, 57 to 72.
LRB: Let's put our dentures in the same glass. I'm alive. You be too. Pacemaker a plus. Opioids even better. M, 74.
NYRB: AMERICAN GIRL-NEXT-DOOR, blonde good looks. Really pretty, smart, sensual, non-workaholic CEO--known for insightful irreverence, quick mind, and ever-present dash of self-deprecating humor. Slender and active with true explorer's spirit, be it exploring around the corner or the world. Easygoing, genuinely warm, classy, intellectual, not dry or stuffy, just the real deal. Passions include: photography, travel (just returned from Egypt, Jordan), weekends in Maine, literature, movies, music (especially Latin and World), cooking, discovering great neighborhood restaurants. Would love to meet co-conspirator, 50-65, bright, active, cosmopolitan man.
LRB: Attractive F, 32, seeks M, of a not too dissimilar age, who smells nice, dresses well & is good at sex. But must not be a cock. London.
NYRB: THE REAL DEAL--classy, confident, and really cute Ph.D. Sensual and stylish, sweet and successful, Boston-based. Brains, looks, and a great sense of fun. Toned, fit, romantic, blonde. Proactive, easygoing, generous, yet no tolerance for injustice or arrogance. Traveler, writer, adventurer--can never get enough of Paris, San Miguel, Puerto Escondido (dreams of one day speaking Spanish fluently), fantasizes about visiting Rome or exploring Outer Banks with special man. Fan of political humor, legislative policy, jazz clubs, Prosecco, fiction, New York weekends, Central Park, fireworks on the Esplanade. Appreciative of talent, be it sports, theater, music. Seeks bright, passionate, active man, 50-early 70s.
LRB: Inelegant. Seeks same. Be my soul/slob-mate. F (42) seeks M (35-55) or best excuse for one.
NYRB: IMMEDIATELY LIKABLE. Intelligence and sensuality. Known for great figure, shy beauty, infectious laugh, dedication to improving the lot of those less fortunate. Documentary film producer, photographer, accomplished professional. Warmth, passion, whimsical sparkle, and most of all--fun. Politically left, team player, former race car driver, maintains motorcycle license. Divorced, proud of Fulbright scholar son. Fan of in-depth travel, Connecticut seacoast house, biking, scuba, science, great food, entertaining friends/family, Morocco, Italy, opera/chamber music, though despite hours listening still can't "name that tune". Learning Spanish. Excited by work in Oaxaca, preserving and exhibiting work of local artisans. Seeks smart, sociable, attractive, active man--50-68.
NYRB: BRIGHT, CAPTIVATING, affectionate artist and outdoor adventurer. Graceful, natural athlete, leggy slim figure, easygoing, great looks, 49. International experience and sophistication yet deep roots in New England with the best of its philosophy and love of its landscape and light. Mischievous and genuine, sexy and comfortable with herself. Loves challenge of the elements: downhill skiing, sailing, hiking, breathtaking views. Passionate about photography, architecture, Maine, Japan (spent 3 years there), spur-of-the-moment fun, the environment. Authentic and game. Contributes to the community, sits on boards. Improvisational cook. Seeks kind, hearty, secure, worldly, competent man, 45-57--mature yet young at heart, Boston/New England-area.
LRB: Two hefty, tattooed Brighton skinheads, 43/45. One writes, one reads. Want uncensored sex with bookish blokes who like rough drafts.
I rest my case.